Under the Clouds the Children Play

Breathless giggles

and

toothless smiles,

bright-eyed innocence

and

unconditional love.

See the children

play in the sun,

the shadows

of their faces

filled with

light.

Their small throats full of

improvised songs and memorized prayers,

both offered freely to

the pale blue sky.

For hours,

For years,

For decades.

Life settles on them,

lifts them up,

as the melodious bells of innocence

turn to a

discordant death-knell,

and  flowers wilt

away the will to live.

And the questions

in their eyes

take root,

and grow

unanswered.

And now clouds gather,

dark and threatening,

full of dread powers

and

poisoned winds.

A shadow of a

human being watches

from the edges,

its stench lost

in the wayward

wind.

It approaches

One,

alone

in its sandbox,

putting its life into

an hourglass

to be flipped over,

and over, and over…

Wind-driven rain

drowns the cry for help,

and now a toothless smile

slowly slips on the mantle

of the lonely

One,

now sitting in its window,

clear as rivers,

who dreams

it was one

of the children

playing

under the clouds.

 

The Days Were Few and Happy

The struggle to breathe

grows harder and laborious,

and soon, not worth the effort.

 

The heartbeat softens to a

padded thudding

of arrhythmic improvisation

 

The light, both sun and lamp alike,

grows dim

 

And the features

of your faces

so familiar

are now only

sketches in sepia

drawn by rheum,

inked in cataract,

and blindness creeps with

a serpent’s crafty slowness

to seize small sight

in its unrelenting

coils of darkness

 

But the memories

of grand carnivals,

of dire hurricanes,

laughter, tears

prizes, penalties

trials, victories

unity, dysfunction

safety , strife

 

holiday dinners

and birthday songs

 

pride and humility

for good or ill

all said and done

except the last

goodbye

and  giving the last remnants

of my love

 

The days were few and happy,

and the honor of growing

beside you

made it all

worthwhile.